When you stop to think about it, you realize how amazing your body really is. Your heart pumps blood, your lungs take in oxygen, and your brain forms thoughts all without thinking about it. And while you’re aware your body’s going through thousands of processes all at once, there are a few things it does that you had no idea about.
Here are the most bizarre facts about your body you never considered, including the weirdest thing that happens once you reach age 60 (No. 9).
1. The acid in your stomach can dissolve razor blades
You probably don’t want to test this one out, but your stomach acid is seriously strong. And CulinaryLore.com says several studies have found the contents of your stomach could do a serious number on a razor blade.
To put it into perspective, your blood has a pH level of around 7.4., which is slightly alkaline. On the other hand, your stomach acid is around a pH level of 1 or 2, which is highly acidic. And you can thank your stomach’s protective lining for not damaging itself with its acidity.
Next: You definitely don’t know this strange fact about your teeth.
2. You produce enough saliva to fill two swimming pools in a lifetime
That’s a lot of spit. According to Tempe Smiles Family Dental, your mouth, on average, will produce over 25,000 quarts of saliva over a lifetime. To put that into perspective, that’s enough to fill two swimming pools.
Not only does saliva help moisten your food while you’re eating, but it serves a multitude of purposes you’re probably unaware of. It also helps keep tooth infections and decay at bay. And if you don’t produce enough saliva, you could end up having serious oral health issues.
Next: It’s true that you had more bones as a baby than you do now.
3. Babies have over 300 bones — but adults only have 206
Your body may have been smaller, but in reality, you had more bones as a baby than you do now. Science ABC explains as a baby, it’s typical to have between 90 and 95 more bones than you do as an adult. And then when you grow, the boney segments in a baby actually fuse together to form single bones. In the end, you’re just left with 206.
For a good example of how bones fuse together, think of the soft spot on a baby’s head. Eventually, this spot disappears — and that’s because the eight small segments in the baby’s skull eventually join to become four.
Next: This is one part of your body that can’t feel pain.
4. Your brain can’t feel pain
It makes sense to think your brain can feel pain — but the organ itself doesn’t contain any pain receptors, Brainline explains. On the other hand, the brain is what detects pain when you’re experiencing it. If you hurt yourself, for example, pain receptors in your skin send a signal through your spinal cord, which eventually hits your brain. As you know, this all happens within fractions of a second.
Also, while the brain itself has no pain receptors, the covering around the brain, scalp, and covering over the bone do.
Next: Here’s what’s really going on inside your body when you ride a roller coaster.
5. Amusement park rides literally toss your internal organs around
Love roller coasters? You’re not the only one — but some seriously weird stuff is going on inside your body when you’re flipping around. HowStuffWorks reports when you’re experiencing the free-fall down a coaster, there’s little net force acting on your body. This allows your organs to fall individually within the body — and that’s also why you get that sinking feeling in your stomach as you’re dropping.
If you’re not one for amusement parks, you’ve probably felt this same sickening feeling in your stomach after driving over an unexpected dip in the road or descending quickly in an elevator.
Next: Here’s one aspect of aging that’s pretty amazing.
6. You get more ambidextrous as you age
There’s good news for those over the age of 70 — and that’s that we become more mixed-handed as we age, says Psychology Today.
In a 2007 study, 60 participants were tested on a number of tasks that required heavy usage of their hands. The participants around the age of 25 were far better with their right hand. For those around the age of 50, the right-handers were able to do the tasks nearly as well with the left hand. And those who were above 70 were just as confident in doing the task with either hand, no matter which one they considered dominant.
Next: Do you know this weird fact about twins?
7. People have a unique smell — but identical twins have the same scent
Your environment greatly impacts how you smell. But when stripped of perfumes and deodorants, it’s true that identical twins have identical scents, while fraternal twins and other siblings do not.
Science explains researchers know by now that your genes dictate how you smell. And since identical twins have the same exact DNA, it actually makes a lot of sense that they would naturally smell the same. What’s even cooler is that scientists think they can use this fact to help them diagnose diseases in the future.
Next: You probably never knew your body was capable of doing this.
8. In times of fear, you’re physically way stronger than normal
You’ve heard stories of mothers lifting 3,000-pound cars off their trapped child before. And while these may be a bit of a stretch, there is some truth to the matter, says Jeff Wise on Psychology Today.
Ordinarily, you use about 65% of your strength when trying to lift heavy objects (for trained weight lifters, you can bump that up to 80%). But in situations of severe stress, your body deadens your response to pain, which allows you to lift more. While it’s still highly unlikely you’ll be able to lift a car, you could lift about 12% more than usual with relative ease.
Next: By the time you hit 60, this has happened to your body without you knowing it.
9. Half of your taste buds are gone by age 60
There’s a reason food you once loved starts to taste different as you age. WebMD explains it’s common for women as early as 40 to start to lose their taste buds. As for men, they have a bit more time, as the change occurs in their 50s. And by the time you’re 60, many are totally gone — and the ones you have left may shrink and become less sensitive.
As you age, you’ll probably notice your ability to taste salty and sweet things decreases. And your sense of smell is also likely to lessen, too.
Next: This is how powerful your brain really is.
10. Your brain produces enough electricity to power a light bulb
If you’ve ever compared your brain to a high-powered machine, you’re not far off. Brandon Brock, a clinician at Cerebrum Health Centers, says, “Neurons in the brain do make enough electricity to run a light bulb,” Reader’s Digest reports. And you can thank the 100 billion cells within your brain that are generating this amount of energy for that.
Not only that, but Brock adds that the information that travels to your brain from your body goes from one place to the other at 150 miles per hour.
Next: Your eyes can tell you more than you think.
11. You can tell if you’re dangerously cold by your eyes
There’s a difference between feeling a winter chill and being totally freezing — and if you’re unsure of where your threshold is, take a look at your eyes. Doctor of optometry Rupe Hansra told Woman’s Day that the blood vessels in your eyes constrict when you’re nearing hypothermia. The reason for this is to conserve energy.
Scarily enough, this constriction can result in temporary blindness.
Next: Sorry, but no amount of hand sanitizer can fix this.
12. Every inch of your skin has about 32 million bacteria on it
Yes, there really is this much bacteria on your body no matter how often you bathe. HowStuffWorks explains there are approximately 32 million bacteria per square inch of skin. The good news is most of it is totally harmless.
ThoughtCo. reports common bacteria on your skin include p. acnes and staphylococcus — two you’ve surely heard of. While p. acnes contributes to the development of skin lesions in some, it doesn’t for all. And staph bacteria can also cause illness in some cases even though it’s harmless most of the time.
Next: Here’s the real reason why feet have an odor.
13. A pair of feet has 250,000 sweat glands
You surely associate your underarms with sweat — but you should also associate perspiration with feet. Healthline explains a pair of feet has approximately 250,000 sweat glands. And if you’re in a hot climate, you can definitely expect your feet to sweat more than you’d like.
As for what you can do about sweaty feet, an antiperspirant can help. And surprisingly, wool socks are also great for ventilation.
Next: You won’t believe the distance your blood vessels cover.
14. Your body has about 100,000 miles of blood vessels
They seem small on their own, but when they’re put end to end, your blood vessels extend quite a distance. The Franklin Institute explains if you took all of your arteries, veins, and capillaries and laid them out end to end, the line would stretch for 100,000 miles in the average adult.
It’s even more amazing when you consider how tiny blood vessels can be on their own. The smallest ones in the human body are only five micrometers, which is roughly a third of the size of a piece of hair.
Next: You need more shut-eye than you think.
15. You can go longer without food than without sleep
Sleep is vital for your health — and it seems you can actually go longer without eating than you can without sleeping. ThoughtCo. sites the most famous example of 17-year-old Randy Gardner who stayed awake for 11 days. He survived — but he was completely dysfunctional by day 11. And though there’s no cut-and-dry answer as to how long someone can live with no sleep, you can function semi-normally far longer without food.
As far as eating is concerned, the general consensus is that the average person can survive eight to 12 weeks without sustenance.
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